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Toby Jug Nebula captured in photo by ESO

The European Southern Observatory captured an image of the Toby Jug Nebula as part of their Cosmic Gems program.
By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM   |   Comments

Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The European Southern Observatory (ESO) captured the most detailed image ever of the Toby Jug Nebula, formally known as IC 2220.

Located some 1,200 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Carina, the reflection nebula is seen as a cloud of gas and dust surrounding a red giant star roughly five times the size of the sun.

The Toby Jug Nebula is visible by the light of its star, and as a red giant, the star is nearing the end of its life, making objects like the Toby Nebula rare according to the ESO.

"IC 2220 is visible as the star’s light is reflected off the grains of dust. This celestial butterfly structure is almost symmetrical, and spans about one light-year," ESO wrote.

The image of the Toby Jug Nebula was produced as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems program, an initiative created to build public interest and education by using the telescope at times when it can't be used for scientific observations to collect data on "visually attractive" objects.

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